When the moon is full, deer tend to feed and move around at night and bed down during the day, so the Nov. 6 full moon meant hunting prospects for the next couple of days weren't the best.
Knowing this, 42-year-old Deville resident Kevin Richardson and his son decided to sleep in the morning of Nov. 8 and left home well after daylight. They even took time to stop at a diner in Dry Prong for breakfast before heading for their hunting spots on the Kisatchie National Forest in Rapides Parish.
“We got to the woods in full daylight and I helped my son get settled in his climbing stand, and I continued on where I hung my climber another 200 yards or so further,” Richardson said. “I didn’t walk quietly at all, thinking maybe I’d jump a deer up to run by my son’s stand.
“Frankly, I didn’t have any confidence we’d even see a deer because of the last night’s moon.”
Within ten minutes after climbing 30 feet up the tree he had selected, Richardson heard something that put him on high alert: Two bucks were fighting between their two stands.
“I mean, they were really getting after it and my heart started beating fast. Later, my son told me he could hear the bucks, and he got excited as well,” Richardson said.
Two to three minutes later, he saw a sapling being whipped around and identified what was causing the ruckus. A buck was rubbing antlers on the tree.
“This was taking place probably 150 yards from my stand, and because the woods were so thick around the area, all I could see was the deer’s head and antlers and the back half of its body. I put the crosshairs just in front of the hip and squeezed. Then everything was quiet - I didn’t know if the deer took off or if I’d missed him,” he said.
His son called to see what he’d shot, and Richardson told him the story and suggested he start heading over to see if they could find any evidence of a hit.
“After my son got there, I climbed down and we started the search. I’d marked a fallen tree near where the buck was standing and told my son to walk around one side of it, while I went around the other side. That’s when I saw antlers sticking up - he had fallen right where I’d shot him,” he said. “In fact, he was lying across the sapling where I’d watched him make his rub.”
The buck, which is believed to be about 5 years old, was a dandy. The deer weighed about 220 pounds and sported a mainframe 10-point rack with six sticker points. Simmons Sporting Goods in Bastrop recorded the deer as a 16-point with a score of 171 4/8 inches, good enough for third place at this writing in the men’s division of the store’s big buck contest.
In general, hunting within a couple of mornings following a full moon is not the best time to bag a buck. However, in Kevin Richardson’s case, he has proof a buck can show up anywhere, at any time, when the rut is on.
Read other stories about big bucks killed this season by clicking here.